Plan your move

  • Help before you arrive
  • Documents
  • Landing/Arrival
  • Transportation
  • Place to stay
  • Weather
  • Money
  • Life in Brandon

Pre-arrival services are free online programs for people who have been approved to immigrate to Canada. They offer information to better understand life in Canada, how to find a job, and how to access other free settlement services when you arrive in Canada.

List of pre-arrival services:

Planning for Canada: Gives access to information, resources, and contacts to help you and your family succeed in the Canadian workplace and community.

Active Engagement and Integration Program: Provides One-on-One employment and settlement guidance, Pre-arrival action plans tailored to your personalized needs, workshops and resources. 

Live and Learn: English Online’s centralized access point for settlement information and language learning options for newcomers to Manitoba.

Settlement Online Pre-Arrival: Is a network of Canadian agencies delivering pre-arrival support designed to help newcomers find and retain employment in Canada.

Accueil francophone: Provides initial entry and settlement services to all French-speaking immigrants and refugees in Manitoba.

Collect and bring to Canada all official documents belonging to you and the family members who are immigrating with you.

Common documents include:

  • birth certificate
  • passport
  • marriage or divorce certificate; death certificate for a deceased spouse 
  • adoption records for adopted children
  • educational diplomas and certificates; transcripts that list the courses you took to obtain a degree or certificate
  • official vaccination records
  • medical records (prescriptions, test results, x-rays, allergies, etc.,) and dental records
  • driver’s licence and/or International Driving Permit (IDP)
  • letters of reference from former employers
  • car registration documents (if you’re importing a motor vehicle into Canada)

Make photocopies of all these types of documents, in case the originals get lost. Be sure to keep the photocopies in a separate place from the originals. If the original documents are not in English or French, you will need to obtain certified translations.

Depending on the port of entry (city you first arrive at), the time for the landing procedures might vary. newcomers destined to another city in Canada are reminded to ensure that your transit time is sufficient. 

You will receive a paper customs declaration form (CBSA Declaration Card) to fill out during your flight. After you get off the plane, follow the directions to Arrivals and Customs. 

When you are at Customs, there will be lines for Canadian citizens and non-Canadian citizens. Make sure you get in the appropriate line. You will be asked to report to an Immigration Officer for an Immigration interview and PR card processing. 

Documents you need for the Immigration interview:

  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence (COPR) for yourself and all accompanying dependents
  • Canadian immigrant visa 
  • Passport 
  • Proof of funds (If you are carrying more than C$10,000)
  • CBSA Declaration Card

It is important to keep your Confirmation of Permanent Residence (CoPR) document. You may need this document to apply for certain programs and benefits in the future. After the Immigration interview, you can proceed to collect your luggage.

Important: There are new regulations for those travelling to Canada including a mandatory quarantine requirement. For more information, please click here 

Public transportation

Usually many new immigrants and newcomers arrive in Winnipeg. After completing the landing procedures in other airports of entry which is approximately 2.5 hours drive to Brandon.

If you arrive at the Winnipeg Airport, currently there isn’t public transportation from Winnipeg to Brandon, and vice versa. The best ways to get to Brandon are through a car rental or the Brandon Air Shuttle. 

Car rental 

Shuttle Services 

  • Brandon Air Shuttle provides ground transportation daily between Brandon and Winnipeg for pre-booked flights. You can make reservations online. 

Make sure to contact them before booking in case they have any Covid-19 restrictions, and are unable to provide their services.

  • If you are staying in Winnipeg, a number of hotels and companies in Winnipeg offer shuttle services to and from the airport, all you have to do is call them when you arrive. 

Taxi

If you arrive at the Brandon Municipal Airport, you can call one of the taxi companies in Brandon to get to your accommodation. 

Ride Sharing apps

  • Brandon doesn’t have any ride sharing apps available. 
  • If you are staying in Winnipeg for a few days, you can access several apps offering ride sharing services within the city (Uber, TappCar, ReRyde, and Uride).

Plan where you will stay during your first days in Canada. Ensure you do some research on where you want to reside for the longer term before committing to a lease. (Westman Immigrant Services can assist you to look for housing)

  • For information on temporary accommodation in Brandon, click here 
  • For information on temporary accommodation in Winnipeg, click here 
  • You can also check short-term rentals in Brandon and Winnipeg at www.airbnb.ca, sometimes this option can be cheaper, but make sure to compare prices to get the best deal. 

You will need to prepare according to the season. If you are arriving in Brandon in winter or fall, you will want to ensure you have appropriate clothing to protect you and keep you warm. While there are lots of options available in the city for you to purchase, it is important to think about what you will wear during your initial arrival.

If you are driving in the winter, you must be extra careful because the roads can be icy and slippery.

Winter: November to March

Spring: April to May

Summer: June to August

Autumn: September to October

Before coming to Canada, it is a good idea to change some money from your country of origin into Canadian dollars. This way, you will be able to pay for things you will need right away, including transportation and food. You can also exchange money after you arrive.

You can bring money into Canada in the form of:

  • Cash
  • Securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills)
  • Negotiable instruments in bearer form (for example, bank drafts, cheques, travellers' cheques, money orders)
  • Transfer of funds between your bank and a Canadian bank

Brandon is a multicultural welcoming community. The city boasts amenities, services, educational and employment opportunities generally found in much larger centres yet has a maximum in city commute of 12 minutes.

A low crime rate, diversified economy, stable housing market, student oriented education system, abundant recreational and cultural opportunities create an enviable quality of life for our residents. 

Are you ready to start living your best life? 

Cost of living

Manitoba as a whole remains one of the most affordable provinces in Canada to live in. Below you can see an estimate of the living costs in Brandon (Source: Brandon Economic Development)

Housing

You can find a wide range of housing: Apartments, suites or rooms, single-family homes, mobile homes, senior independent living accommodations, personal care homes, and student housing. 

Renting 

(plus utilities)

  • Bachelor : $ 552
  • 1 Bedroom: $ 688
  • 2 bedroom: $ 907
  • 3 Bedroom: $ 1,211

Buying a house

The average cost of a house is $ 292,024. This price would purchase an average home ranging 900–1600 square feet, 2-4 bedrooms in the city or within a 30 minute drive.

Utilities

The following costs are average only, actual cost is based on consumption.

  • Electricity: $ 1,451 (MB annual average cost)
  • Gas: : $ 644 (MB annual average cost)
  • Water: $ 138 quarterly (based on family of 4)

Other services

  • Internet Service (Invoiced monthly): Plans start at $ 50.00
  • Cable Television (Invoiced monthly): Plans start at $ 24.95
  • Cell Phone Service (Invoiced monthly): Plans start at t $ 29.00

Transportation Options

Public Transportation

Brandon’s urban extension is compact, this makes the access to public transport ideal. You can get around the city with ease. 

Brandon Transit Fares (Monthly rate)

  • Adult: $84.50
  • Youth (6-17 YRS): $47.25
  • Senior (60+): $47.25
  • Post Secondary: $51.00

Costs associated with owning a vehicle 

  • Driver’s licence: Annual fee with 0 points Driver Safety Rating is $ 65
  • Gasoline (regular) per litre is $104.9 as of Jan, 2021
  • Diesel Fuel per litre is $105.9 as of Jan, 2021
  • Car insurance: The Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) regulates your insurance according to a Driver Safety Rating (DSR) and points are gained through years of safe driving. DSR can allow up to a 33% discount on vehicle insurance costs and reduce driver license fees. You can access an online tool to calculate the cost of your insurance based on your vehicle.

Sales tax

Like many countries, Canada adds sales taxes to many of the goods and services you buy. In Manitoba, the added taxes when you pay are:

  • Retail or Provincial Sales Tax (RST or PST): 7%
  • Goods & Services Tax (GST): 5%

Pay cheque deductions

For most jobs in Canada, your employer will remove some money from your pay cheque. This is called a deduction. Pay cheque deductions can reduce your pay by as much as 25% to 35%. The money from these deductions usually pays for:

  • Income taxes
  • Canada Pension Plan
  • Employment Insurance
  • Union dues (if you belong to a union)
  • Payments to a retirement or pension plan (if you belong to a plan or choose to make contributions through your employer)
  • Any other deductions you and your employer agree to in writing

Your pay cheque will show how much money has been deducted for each item. The total amount of your pay cheque before deductions is your gross income. The amount you get to keep is your net income or take-home pay.

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